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  Brought To You In Living Color…

This being the early part of a New Year, I’m inclined to look for ways to make 2008 an improvement over the previous 12 months. It’s not that ’07 was all that bad, but there’s something about a relatively new calendar that tends to fill your mind with thoughts of the proverbial “clean slate” and pump up your resolve to work harder, achieve more and maybe trip over your own feet a little less along the way.

So when a book titled “8 To Be Great, The 8 Traits that Lead to Great Success,” hit my desk one day, I just had to take a look inside. The author, Richard St. John, who’s described as an “award-winning communicator and success analyst,” interviewed some 500 “successful people from all walks of life,” searching for common traits they shared. Among the things he found was that these successful people love what they do for a living, they work hard, they’re focused and have developed an ability to ignore distractions, they push through obstacles including their own self-doubt, they persist despite tough times, criticism and mistakes, they serve up something of value to other people and they search for ideas that will solve problems and take advantage of opportunities.

But the section that really caught my attention was the one that spoke to the importance of always looking for ways to improve yourself and get better at what you do. Specifically, the author included a quote from baseball great Ted Williams that reads: “You can always take what you have and make it better.” He also referred to the book by legendary automotive designer Raymond Loewy that’s titled “Never Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Well, it just so happens that those two thoughts fit in perfectly with the current direction here at Auto Restorer because you’re going to see a major change in the publication.

The change I’m talking about is that after 10-plus years of printing in black and white, we’ll be publishing in color again, beginning with the March issue.

Those of you who have been with us for a long time know that our publication was printed in color from June 1989 through June 1997 when we went to a black-and-white format as one of several cost-cutting measures. To this day I still hear from long-term readers who say they miss the color but have stuck with us for the information we provide.

As you might expect, our production people keep an eye on advances in printing and paper technology, and they’ve determined that while black-and-white still costs less than color, the difference has moderated to the point where we can leave the grayscale behind and return to our more colorful selves.

But I want to emphasize that while our look will be different, the approach taken by Auto Restorer will not change. We aren’t going to become a “pretty pictures” magazine that provides a heavy dose of flash but little substance, and we aren’t going to clutter up our pages with outside advertising.

We’ll continue to carry the same mix of articles that we have now, and even the “feel” of the publication will be pretty much the same because while we’re going to a new type of paper that will take the color better than our current stock, it won’t have a slick, coated surface.

So the biggest differences are that you’ll see our Feature Restorations and Readers’ Cars & Trucks as they look in person, details in “how-to” photos are more likely to stand out in color, and when Larry Lyles starts applying the finish coats to Project ’46, we’ll all be reaching for our sunglasses.

Oh, and I’m also told that we’ll probably be taking a new photo of me to run with this column so everyone can see just what I look like in living color.

Well, OK, so maybe there’s at least one drawback to an otherwise great new direction for us…    

—Ted Kade, Editor

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